Can you find a product in just a few clicks or have a product delivered from the other side of the planet in a few days? This seems normal to us today. With all the information available on websites, customer reviews, and brand reputations, online shopping has profoundly transformed the way we consume. But before it had a ubiquitous impact on our daily lives, e-commerce went through eras, challenges, and trends.
The 1990s: the beginning of e-commerce
The history of online shopping begins in the 1970s with the first modest computer explorations, but the real revolution occurred in the 1990s with the arrival of the World Wide Web. Top Shopping sites like Amazon And eBay was born, paving the way for a new way of consumption. But these early players had to face distrust from consumers, who were reluctant to reveal their credit card information online.
In the mid-1990s, the first online payment platforms, such as PayPal, facilitated electronic transactions by ensuring the security of users’ financial information.
2000s: The whole world is connected to the Internet
The turn of the millennium saw the explosion of online commerce.
Speed up websites
Traditional companies quickly realized the profit of e-commerce and began developing their own online sales sites. Websites multiply, and the number of users explodes, with the democratization of computers and the emergence of new devices. The Internet then gives consumers around the world access to a wide range of products and services, making online shopping an increasingly popular daily purchasing habit.
Online shopping becomes mobile
With the advent of smartphones and tablets, online shopping apps have become popular, providing the ability to shop anytime, anywhere. Social media has also played an important role in online shopping. It has enabled brands to interact directly with their customers. With the new shopping feature, followers can purchase products directly from social media posts like Instagram.
More sellers, more competition
In the face of thousands of products available, competition is tough. For their part, the consumer is more demanding when it comes to fast delivery and payment options. Companies offer fast delivery services (sometimes same day), flexible payment options, with enhanced after-sales service and highly personalized offers in order to build customer loyalty.
What is the future of online shopping?
The history of e-commerce and its rapid rise is far from over. As technology continues to advance, new innovations and new consumer habits are changing the online shopping experience.
Augmented reality and virtual reality
In fact, with these new technologies, you can now try on products virtually, view furniture in your own space, and even participate in virtual in-store tours.
Challenge sustainable practices
As consumers become increasingly concerned about environmental impact, e-commerce companies will also need to focus on environmental sustainability and transparency in manufacturing and transportation to stand out.
Since its beginnings in the 1970s, online shopping has come a long way. E-commerce has changed many aspects of our daily lives, shaken up the rules and will continue to evolve and shape the way we shop.